Posted by Chip Patterson
Miami head coach Randy Shannon has spent most of his football career in South Florida. His roots in Miami are so deep, it is nearly impossible to imagine Shannon anywhere else. After playing on the Hurricanes' 1987 National Championship team, Shannon returned to Miami after a brieft NFL stint as a graduate assistant and later assistant coach. Shannon then made the big jump to the NFL, joining (you guessed it!) the Miami Dolphins. He then returned to the Hurricanes as a defensive assistant and eventually was named head coach. Despite Shannon's deep roots in the Miami area, he is beginning to catch some criticism from the Miami faithful.
No matter what the critics are saying, Shannon still has the support of the Miami brass. The Miami Herald reports that despite this year's disappointing 5-3 conference finish, University President Donna Shalala still has confidence that Shannon is the man for the job. The report goes on to suggest that there are some trustees who would like to see a change, but as long as Shannon is not deterring donors - his job is safe for the moment.
When Miami joined the ACC, the expectation was for "The U" to quickly establish dominance and take their place among the conference's elite. But since Randy Shannon took the reigns at Miami, the Hurricanes have not finished better than third in their own division. Shannon's .500 conference record does not exactly live up to the same standards of the Miami squads he played on and coached for in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Shannon could start to silence his critics with a berth to the ACC Championship Game, it is awfully difficult to establish conference dominance without ever winning your own division.